A large allotment site in Bradford is digging deep to protect its plots against theft and criminal damage following the launch of a crime prevention initiative using forensic marking.
Funded by the Bowling Allotments and Garden Society (BAGS), SelectaDNA forensic property marking is being used to protect items such as lawnmowers, garden tools, hedge trimmers and power tools.
This follows a high number of criminal incidents at the 130-plot Bowling Park site and at its sister site next door, including break-ins, arson attacks and physical threats.
Andrew Hastie, Secretary of BAGS said: “We decided that we needed to reduce these incidents drastically, so had a look at our options. Without power, these were very limited as we are unable to use CCTV or lighting.
“A fence upgrade would cost thousands of pounds, so we decided upon the more cost-effective SelectaDNA with the added protection of bright orange deterrent warning signs for individual sheds.”
SelectaDNA is a clear liquid containing a UV tracer and an individual DNA code. It can be applied to any items of value in a matter of seconds and details of the code are then stored on a secure national database. If property is stolen and then recovered by Police, its owner can be easily traced via the DNA code.
Mr Hastie continued: “Unfortunately due to the bad weather over the Christmas period we were unable to introduce the initiative until the New Year. In the meantime we had a weekend where every plot was broken into and a full shed was removed from site.
“SelectaDNA has now been introduced and the deterrent signage erected and we are hoping that this will reduce a lot of the incidents.”
Nick Roach, Police Liaison Officer at SelectaDNA said: "The use of SelectaDNA on allotment sites will provide forensic evidence to help police tackle criminal activity. The DNA element of the product will irrefutably link any criminal to the scene and will provide police with the required evidence for a criminal conviction at court."
While the Bowling Park site is now protected, allotment crime is a problem across many sites in Bradford, so a new group called Bradford Allotment Watch has been formed by Mr Hastie to allow information on this type of crime to be shared more easily.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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